Critics say planned BART subway station in San Jose is too deep – CBS San Francisco
SAN JOSE (KPIX) – The South Bay got its first glimpse of the planned BART underground station in the little Portugal of San Jose this week, a multi-level, lane tunnel located 86 feet below the surface.
And the most vocal reaction on social networks: it’s too deep!
“I think the reaction is symbolic of ignorance,” said VTA spokesperson Bernice Alaniz.
According to Alaniz, BART’s current plan to place the tunnel at this depth took into account soil conditions, existing utilities, tram lines and minimizing disturbance to the surface.
Getting from the platform to the surface using high speed elevators will take about a minute or 90 seconds using escalators. BART’s fourth quarter 2020 report shows that station elevators were cumulatively in service 99% of the time and escalators to street level were in service cumulatively 97% of the time.
A VTA “Deep Station Fact Sheet” listed other stations in the United States with even deeper subways:
- Forest Glenn, Maryland: 196 feet deep with all elevator access
- Wheaton, Montgomery County, Maryland 115 feet deep – access to all escalators
- Rosslyn, Arlington, VA: upper level 103 feet deep; lower level 117 feet deep
- Bethesda, Maryland: 120 feet deep
- Friendship Heights, Washington Metro: 100 feet deep
- Beacon Hill Station, Seattle: 160 feet deep all elevator access
- University of Washington Station, Seattle: 100 feet deep
- Roosevelt Station, Seattle: 80 feet deep
- Washington Park Station, Portland Oregon: 260 feet deep, all elevator access
“For those who have used public transportation internationally, using a metro system 75, 80, 90 feet underground is nothing out of the ordinary,” Alaniz said.
In the Bay Area, the closest comparison is the BART Embarcadero station in San Francisco, which descends 54 feet from street level.
“Anyone who has used this BART station in downtown San Francisco knows how long it can take to get in and out of a station, especially when it’s crowded,” said Ian Griffiths, director of operations. policies at Seamless Bay Area, a nonprofit transportation advocacy organization. group.
Griffiths says the extra commute time for deeper descents adds up and can turn off riders.
“We can have the best finishes and the best architecture and if it’s not a well-designed station… that makes it easier to use public transport, it will be less and less useful for everyone,” Griffiths said.
As for the sarcasm and online snark, “It’s disappointing because the project is being built for the greater good of the community. This is an important project and it will provide an environmentally friendly alternative to solo driving, ”said Alaniz.